This weekend is Mother's Day weekend, and we will have lots of salad bowls to choose from. Moms have been admiring them for a month now- and would love to have one of their own!
Salad bowls are a way to have homegrown salads with a mini-garden on the deck or patio. They are filled with lettuces and other cool-weather greens that have been hardened off and are ready to keep outside. Usually you will harvest a salad a week, or more, by picking off the outside large leaves, and leaving at least half the plant. Most of the greens will be done by the end of June when it's too hot for them to survive.
Care of your salad bowl: Keep in a cool spot if possible. They love sun when it's cool, but it helps to move them into the shade when the weather is hot.
A half day of sun will keep them growing well. Water your salad bowl well with deep soakings. Fertilize with an organic liquid fertilizer (I like Age-Old Organics).
After your bowl is finished you can plant some hot weather plants in it and then use it the bowl again for a few years. If you have chives in the bowl replant these to the garden and they will live for many years.
Plants in the bowl:
Lettuce- just water well and pick the big leaves
Kale and chard- pick this very often or it will take over the whole bowl
Mustard- pick often, it gets big and the leaves get too hot after a while
Garlic- pick the greens often. Just cut off about 2/3 of the greens and they'll keep growing back. Use for eggs, soups, stirfry, potato salad.... any thing you would use garlic bulbs for. The garlic bulbs will be depleted and won't be worth using at the end.
Onions- Italian Red Bunching Onions. These are scallions. You can use the greens or wait a while and pull up the whole little scallion one by one or all at once.
Spinach- won't produce much so pick early and often